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Vermont legislators take up landmark climate bill

Global Warming Solutions Act will slash greenhouse gas emissions

January 10, 2020 (MONTPELIER, VT) – Today, as youth leaders crowded the State House demanding bold climate action, Vermont legislators introduced a bill designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions and confront the climate crisis. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV), Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) released the following statements in response.

“The climate crisis demands bold action and Vermont is long overdue,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President and Director of CLF Vermont. “We’re off track, but we can eliminate all carbon pollution by 2050 while building healthy and resilient communities. This legislation will make sure we reach our emissions goals and confront this crisis with everything we have.”

“Vermont politicians from all political parties have consistently and vocally supported our climate pollution reduction targets and said we’re “still in” for meeting the Paris Climate Accord obligations. This law will simply ensure our actions match our words, and that we live up to what our children are calling on us to do – by aligning state government around the creation of a low-carbon, healthier, more resilient, and more equitable economy,” added Lauren Hierl, executive director at Vermont Conservation Voters.

“Ongoing, insufficient action saddles young people and future generations with the high costs and consequences of a warming world. That’s unacceptable,” said Johanna Miller, energy and climate program director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. “We have an obligation to do our part to help combat the climate crisis, and the Solutions Act creates an essential framework for strategic action and required progress.”

“The Solutions Acts is the essential cornerstone of the climate work the legislature is undertaking this year,” said Ben Edgerly Walsh, climate and energy program director with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “By ensuring state government is accountable to its climate commitments and laying out a strategic framework for climate action when combined with the full climate platform the legislature is undertaking, the Solutions Act will finally set us on the path to meeting the goals our leaders have made clear they support.”

The Global Warming Solutions Act will put Vermont on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by turning greenhouse gas reduction goals into mandatory requirements. It gives state government both the authority and responsibility to reduce carbon pollution across all sectors of the economy while building healthy and resilient Vermont communities and prioritizing resources to areas that are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis.

The introduction of this bill today also coincides with young leaders from across Vermont coming to the State House to roll out their “Young Vermonters United Climate Declaration” calling on legislators and the Governor to take bold climate action – including turning our longstanding goals into requirements. You can find that declaration here.

Experts are available for further comment.